Sans socks

“There’s no such thing as having no style.”

I recently overheard someone deliver this statement, and thought to myself, "that’s really not at all the case." I don’t feel it entirely necessary to go into detail regarding those without style. You either have it or you don’t. Okay, I’ll admit that that is a horrible oversimplification, however for this article’s intents and purposes that definition will suffice.

That having been said, style for style’s sake is by no means a better option. A wonderful example of this principle can be seen in any of the local music clubs on any given Friday night. You will find there a multitude of people, all dressed quite similarly, in a somewhat "stylish" manner. However, what is really remarkable about this group is that from a distance they might look almost three dimensional, but when you approach them you will find that they have no more depth than one of the U.S. military’s fantastic cardboard "flat daddies."

What I mean is, hipsters – as they’ve so lovingly been named — are, for the most part, completely oblivious to anything outside of what can be considered "hip." Although I can’t possibly imagine them ever using that word, if it became ironic and "hip" to do so, then it would become a regular in hipster dialogue. But I digress. This group congregates for the sole purpose of being seen…congregating. Not to rally for or against anything, not to create anything – merely to be seen.

Jack Kerouac, Malcolm X, Woody Allen, Miles Davis, Audrey Hepburn – one might say they are quite the eclectic group. What do a writer, a champion of social reform, a filmmaker, a trumpeter and an actress have in common? Each managed not only to be extremely stylish in very unique ways, but more importantly, each strived to accomplish something of meaning with their lives.

While style can be a wonderful way of expressing oneself, having a "self" to express is really the most crucial element in crafting a style. And though it may be tempting to simply graft yourself onto a group, adopting their style as your own, be wary about what that may or may not say about you. After all, I’m sure families are just overjoyed to have a life-sized cardboard cutout of their deployed loved ones, but…I think you get the idea.

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